AETC Wrap-Up: AETC A Hit In New Venue
New location and timing with PRI Show helps boost attendance by 20 percent
By Brendan Baker
It’s always great to get away from the blustery cold weather during the winter months, and even better if you can learn something new while you work on your tan. After 15 years in the same Colorado Springs, CO, location, the Advanced Engine Technology Conference (AETC) decided on a move to a much warmer climate for its 16th annual conference. Orlando, FL, home of Mickey Mouse, as well as the new home for the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show, was also to play host to AETC.
The 16th AETC, sponsored by SuperFlow, and presented by PRI and Popular Hot Rodding magazine November 28-30, 2005, was bigger and better than ever, with a whopping 20 percent increase in attendees and even greater prospects for the future.
Now held during the three days preceding the PRI Show in Orlando, a first-time venue for both events, the AETC is as convenient as it is informative, a fact most who attended were quick to note.
This year the AETC welcomed a host of varied performance industry leaders to the event, which was held on the third floor of the spacious Orange County Convention Center. Each speaker was given a chance to not only present many of his recent technical findings and field audience questions, but also to further discuss topics in the informal AETC setting between and after conference presentations a unique feature to this event not found in other engineering conferences.
“The value delivered by attending the AETC has increased tremendously,” said Comp Cams’ Scooter Brothers. “By committing to only an additional few days, a PRI attendee can add the AETC to his agenda.
The list of this year’s speakers included Dr. Dean Hill of New Mexico State University, who spoke on the topic of racing fuel and the composition of gasoline. Hill spoke enthusiastically about the secrets of hydrocarbon combustion as well as entertaining those in attendance with his endless wit and wisdom.
Dave Heninger of Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST) spoke next on the subject that many engine builders are beginning to face more and more today electronic fuel injection. Heninger shared his many years of hands-on experience with installing and tuning EFI systems. Heninger also answered numerous questions from the audience.
Other speakers included Tim Collins of Mangaged Programs, LLC. Collins spoke about intake/head port optimization using computer simulation; Bill Glidden, son of legendary drag racer Bob Glidden, held a discussion with Comp Cams’ Brothers about interpreting rules and making power in strictly controlled racing classes; Ron Johnson and Kevin Brown of Moroso Performance Produts presented “The Current State of Oil Pump and Vacuum Pump Technology”; Danny Lawrence, track co-coordinator and engine builder, Richard Childress Racing discussed the challenges of “Managing Multiple Teams and Making Power Show Up at the Race Track”; and Fritz Kayl, owner of Katech Engine Development presented “Development Secrets of the LS7, from LeMans to the Showroom.”
And last but not least, Harold Bettes of SuperFlow Technologies and conference master of ceremonies received a Lifetime Achievement Award from AETC for his many years of service to the conference and the industry. In his typical style, Bettes accepted the award and shared another round of jokes.
The date of the 17th AETC will be December 11-13, 2006, and will again precede the PRI Show in Orlando. The schedule for the conference is yet to be finalized as of our press date, however, the administrative contact for AETC says it will be completed and posted very soon (www.aetconline.com).
During the event, attendees had several opportunities to have one-on-one conversations with the leaders of the industry. “The networking opportunities at the 16th AETC were better than ever,” Brothers said. “We even had a visit from the legendary Tom Hoover, who was the father of the Hemi at Chrysler back in the ’60s. Future AETC events will attract an even greater list of special guests, and AETC attendees will have an opportunity to meet them and sit and chat with the icons of our industry.”
Many of these discussions took place in the relaxing atmosphere of the hotel lobby, and shooting pool after dinner. But wherever they took place, you were sure to walk away with more knowledge than you could ever imagine.